Cooking For A Crowd
Grill That Bird!
Recipes for Quantity Cooking

Grill That Bird!

So you've decided to grill a turkey breast. What now? You can use a smaller breast for a smaller crowd—or grill a larger one to feed a bigger group. You can also grill more than one breast (if your grill size permits). Using an indirect cooking method results in a moist, juicy turkey. It's a nice change of pace to enjoy the company of your guests and to perhaps prepare other last-minute dishes while the bird roasts.


Varies depending on whether you're grilling a boneless or bone-in breast

When ordering your turkey breast, plan on three-quarters of a pound per person. If it is a boneless breast, allow a half-pound per person. (For a whole turkey, allow at least one pound per person, plus a half-pound per person for leftovers).

Make sure to purchase a turkey breast that fits in your grill—ideally leaving a minimum of one-inch clearance from the lid.


Set the turkey breast on the grill (with a drip pan below).

Indirect cooking is similar to roasting but with the added benefits of a grilled texture, flavor, and appearance. To cook indirectly, pile all the coals on one side and place the food on the side away from the coals. Close the lid to allow the heat to circulate evenly. If you are using a gas grill, leave one burner off and place the meat over that burner; close the lid.

Remember: There's no need to turn or baste.


Depending on the bird's weight, grill a smaller boneless breast (up to 3 pounds) about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

A larger breast (3 to 9 pounds) should take about 2 to 3 hours.

These times are approximate because, regardless of size, the turkey should be grilled until the internal temperature reaches 170°F in the thickest part.

Remove turkey from the grill and allow to rest 20 minutes before carving- to redistribute the juices and make for smoother carving.

Remember that a smoke-cooked turkey may appear a little pink, even when thoroughly cooked and though the final temperature has reached the appropriate level.


Cook your stuffing in the oven (outside of the bird).

If you're grilling a whole bird using the same method, you'll need to adjust timing and take two temperature readings to ensure food safety. The breast temperature should be 170°F, and the thigh should reach 180°F. (A 10- to 18-pound turkey will take between 2 to 3 hours).

Source: Whole Foods

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